Professor of Medical Psychology
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Research interests & goals:
Elizabeth Jane Costello is Professor of Medical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University. Her research interests are the developmental epidemiology of psychiatric comorbidity, the role of biological factors, such as puberty, in the development of childhood psychopathology, and the meaning of ethnicity and poverty as predictors of the development of psychiatric disorders.
Costello is currently Director of Research for the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Duke. She is a member of the National Academy of Science’s panel on Juvenile Crime and Delinquency, and a consultant to the National Institute of Mental Health on its psychiatric epidemiology research program. For the past fifteen years she has served on various NIMH Research Review Committees, including the Child Psychopathology and Treatment and the Genetics and Epidemiology review committees. She is a consultant to the MacArthur Foundation on developmental epidemiology.
Current research projects include a longitudinal study of 1,400 families in western North Carolina. The children (including a large oversample of American Indians) were 9-13 when the study started in 1993, and are now entering adulthood. Topics include the interaction of individual, familial, and community risk for psychiatric disorder, the need for and use of mental health services, and the impact of poverty in two ethnic communities.